Most boroughs seem like a pain in the ass to get to if you don't live there. Staten Island is particularly remote, though, and a tourist as stubborn as Hanna would probably feel like she's passed through Jupiter's vortex and can never return. The gag in the bottom tier references a common, somewhat understandable refusal by city cab drivers, one that was made illegal by the time the strip was written. I imagine things have shifted again in the age of the ridesharing economy, and probably not in a way that benefits the drivers. It's easy in 2020 to see how Hanna's ideal world of seamless, uninterrupted commerce can't be sustained.

7 thoughts on “OTSAN #14

  1. I'm a little confused, what did the cab driver do that's now illegal?

    1. Refusing to wait for someone during a multiple-stop trip. (She paid the driver, though, which you're not supposed to do until the very end.)

      1. That's odd, though. If she were dropping a friend off at a more public place, in the middle stop of a multiple-stop trip, couldn't she have just told the driver "I'll be back in a moment," walked in with the friend, and then taken off without paying? Then she would be the absconder. How does that work, to only pay at the end?

  2. Ah Hanna, how could you forget? "Don't pay the ferryman, until he gets you to the other side."

  3. I used to live on Staten Island. For some people it must be home, but for me it was living on the moon. I had to be there, though. At times I had to work in Manhattan until very, very late, so I was empowered to take a cab home ($$$). I learned to get in the cab first before giving the destination, and to threaten the cabbie with the police if he refused to go there. Once, the driver was a Russian guy who didn't really speak Angliiski. When we got out in the woods he was terrified; I guess in Russia that would mean certain death. After letting me off, he was totally lost, so I got back in and guided him back to the freeway (about a file away) and walked home. On another occasion, though, the driver was a blonde Bulgarian woman. I felt sorry for her, and told her she didn't have to drive me to the far side if she didn't want to. 'Oh, no, dollink, she replied, 'I take you verever you vant to go.' She did, too, at about 90 mph. This was why I loved New York. I did manage to get out of Staten Island, too, eventually.

  4. Okay so everything I know about Staten Island I know because of Pete Davidson's SNL/standup rants. What do I have wrong?

    It's nominally dangerous, is the impression I got. I don't quite grasp why the driver wouldn't want to be paid for the return trip here, though.

    1. If I understand right, they hired this cab in Staten Island. They took the ferry over from Manhattan, but it's so late the ferry won't be running any more until morning. So to get back to Manhattan, the only real option Hannah has is for this cab to take her back over the roads.

      It's a long trip and this driver probably doesn't want to go to Manhattan since it's unlikely they'll get another fare that brings them back to SI at this time of night.

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